Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts and crafts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Patty Topel, co-owner of Kachina House, located in Sedona, AZ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Kachina House is the largest Native American arts and crafts distributor in Arizona. Our customers are those who are interested in Native American Indian culture and crafts, specifically Native Americans in the southwestern US. We buy directly from the Native Americans. By doing so, we are supporting their cultural history and contemporary lives.

Tell us about yourself

We purchased a small existing shop in northern AZ. Because we were collectors of Native American art, it was easy to immerse ourselves in this culture and its people. We keep going every day because of the people we buy from and those who buy from us. We have developed friendships with our customers as well as our vendors. We are motivated by our belief that an appreciation for cultural objects can lead to a great understanding of the cultures and their peoples.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Growing this little-known shop in northern AZ into the largest distributor of Native American arts and crafts and, while doing that, becoming a resource for many, including others in our field. Building and maintaining trust with our vendors and customers have been a driving motivation for our work.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The accounting/tax details are cumbersome, keeping up with a very active website and dealing with so much that is outside our control.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Realize that whatever money you think you will make….you won’t make right away. Stay with it.
  2. You will work harder than you ever have to be prepared.
  3. Owning a business and “calling your own shots” is a great ideal, but you actually work full-time plus for the customers when you own a business.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

The belief that one can do it all herself in this ever-changing market is a pipe dream. Narrow your focus; your market is not “everyone.” When you are running tight on funds or when the economy slips, whatever you do, do not cut back on marketing expenditures. When the economy slows, your marketing should increase; that is the only way to be ahead of the curve.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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